Due to land constraints and competing needs, the Singapore government revealed its vision for the shift towards a car-lite society with a reduced reliance on car-ownership. This gives Car-Sharing companies an unprecedented opportunity for growth and pushes them to shift gears, turning towards new technologies to offer even better mobility solutions to customers.
Car Club has been Singapore’s largest and most established Car-Sharing operator since 1997. Over the years, it has remained laser-focused on its core objective to converge social and technological trends to provide the urban community with convenient and cost-effective access to private vehicles – without the high costs of vehicle ownership.
“We’re extremely customer-centric and we’re constantly evolving our business model to better meet the needs of the changing landscape. We started out with manual processes that supported a mere 10 to 20 car stations in the early 2000s. As we scaled our business, we’ve grown to amass approximately 112 stations with 270 cars. Thus, it is extremely important for us to leverage upon the latest technology to create more touch points with our customers and to improve our process efficiencies,” said Gary Ong, Managing Director of Car Club.
Shifting gears from silo systems to an integrated business management solution
Car Club has a unique desire to bridge its years of legacy with current needs. Thus, the company was extremely discerning when selecting a technology partner that would empower them to transform into a modern workplace.
“We are on a constant lookout for people who value the same attributes that we do. Resilience, the willingness to adapt, grow and create value are extremely important to us when we are choosing our partners,” remarked Mr Ong.
Not long after Car Club reflected its intentions to engage a reliable technology partner, Mr Ong was introduced to Stone Forest IT – a Microsoft partner that offers one-stop IT solutions to companies, from advisory to implementation and managed services.
“Stone Forest IT is the IT service arm of RSM Singapore and Stone Forest Group. Our services range from infrastructure and security, business applications for both ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management), as well as data analytics and business intelligence,” said Lily Ong, Director for Dynamics 365 at Stone Forest IT. “We pride ourselves as an IT advisor to growing businesses and our mission is to help our clients with their IT needs through every stage of their business growth,” Ms Ong added.
“Previously, Car Club’s operations relied on many silo systems, which caused a lot of process inefficiencies and made it difficult to share data across departments. This is where we stepped in to develop a system that utilised a centralised platform to connect Car Club’s individual systems into one. We used Microsoft Dynamics 365, an all-in-one business management solution that allowed us to integrate and streamline Car Club’s core business operations into a unified view of customers,” said Ms Ong.
Hosted in the cloud on Microsoft Azure, Car Club has the full flexibility of access and control over its CRM system anytime, anywhere.
Steering towards operational efficiency for better customer engagement
Gone were the days when Car Club’s customers had to manually apply for a membership by filling up a physical form and mailing it to the company. Today, the customer experience is completely automated – from membership sign-ups to car reservation and collection – everything can be done through the ease of Car Club’s mobile application or website.
However, Car Club’s thrust towards automating its processes is not stopping here.
Car Club operates in an industry where dynamic pricing plays a huge role in determining success and this is especially so as the demand and supply of cars fluctuate frequently.
“Prior to the introduction of Dynamics 365, we used a manual CRM tool. This was not only time-consuming for our employees, but also restricted us from many growth opportunities,” explained Mr Ong. “By making this technological shift, we have now fully digitised and automated our leads, funnelling, registration processes, right through to customer onboarding. We are also able to track sales more closely to aid decision-making and we are considering more forms of dynamic pricing to better meet the needs of our customers,” he added.
Gearing up for an agile workforce
When planning for Car Club’s latest digital transformation efforts, Mr Ong and his team made sure to prime employees well for changes. This was in line with Car Club’s commitment towards developing an agile workforce through continuous training and the company’s firm belief that human talents should never be replaced with automation.
“This has given us the ability to empower our employees with technology to create a unique blend of capabilities that will optimise our performance. More importantly, our employees are now better to able collaborate with one another, which benefits the company with greater functionality, speed and efficiency,” noted Mr. Ong
Moving forward, Mr Ong sees the vast potential of a fully unified operations system, as Car Club continues to expand its business.
“Going beyond the front-facing processes, we see ourselves working closely with Stone Forest IT to introduce Microsoft’s solutions to our back-end operations like finance and accounting to further improve efficiency. Subsequently, as we set our sights on the regional markets, we hope to integrate our entire business with the help of technology and to get our regional teams on board with these improved solutions as well to further accelerate Car Club’s growth,” concluded Mr Ong.
For more updates on how Microsoft is supporting SMEs, visit https://news.microsoft.com/en-sg/empowering-smes/